An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales
Retold by Theresa Breslin
Hardbound, Large Format
Illustrated by Kate Leiper
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This beautiful volume is simply one of the finest folklore collections and most alive retellings ever committed to paper, all the better for being enhanced by truly beautiful illustrations that capture the magic, warmth and wonder of these tales. Theresa Breslin has managed to convey each tale in its own voice, while making her telling of it immediate and personal. You can almost hear the fire crackling as she beckons you to come closer and listen.
Here are funny tales, moving stories, and enchanting fairy tales. Soar with the goshawk, dive with selkies and battle with the stoorworm, as each story is brought to life with Kate Leiper's exquisite illustrations that brim with otherworldly beauty.
A wonderful gift, this is a truly stunning book to be treasured for a lifetime and will be enjoyed by parents and grandparents as well as children.
Ages 4 and up, with the understanding that not all of the stories are suitable for the very young, but some are.
The Jungle Book - Hardbound, fully illustrated
Hardbound, lavishly illustrated, impeccably designed and bound
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This is a book for the giving and the cherishing. I think all of us have practically forgotten that books could be produced so well that the holding of them and looking at them become a part of the telling of their story. This is such a book. It is consummately typeset with such balance and beauty that each word seems to have its own special life on the page. The paper itself is a joy: heavy weight, archival quality, non-acid.
And then there are the illustrations! These are the original illustrations that really brought The Jungle Book and the mystery of life in Eastern lands to the English speaking world. They are also the illustrations I grew up with and rediscovering them has been sheer bliss. The warmth of the paintings, the grandeur and beauty of the scenes just comes alive the in the illustrations by M & E Detmold. To be able to again share these with children (and yourself!) makes my heart glad.
A true bonus is that, as with the first edition, this volume contains not only The Jungle Book, but also three of Kipling's shorter works: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Toomai of the Elephants, Her Majesty's Servants, all boasting the same beauty of illustration.
How Batistine Made Bread
Softbound, large format
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Batistine lived in the olden days, long before your great-, great-, great-, great grandmother's mother was even born. Mostly she liked to climb trees or watch her mother and father make things around the farm. But when she turned seven, she wanted to make her own breakfast all by herself - from scratch!
You and your children can follow Batistine has she milks the cow, gathers eggs, harvests and winnows the wheat, grinds flour and much more, until at last she has baked a fragrant loaf of bread and is ready for breakfast!
Wonderful for any child, Treska Lindsey's warm recapturing the wonder of what 'bread' is really all about, How Batistine Made Bread is especially suited for children about age 8 or 9, who are ready for the cooking part of the Waldorf 3rd grade curriculum.
The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said
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This is a gem of a book by the renowned poet, dramatist, novelist, folklorist and storyteller, Padraic Colum. No less than three of his books for children received retrospective citations for the Newbery Honor. Filled with drama, action, tenderness and adventure, Padraic Colum spins a series of tales which draw us into a world of imagination and beauty. The tales have a strong and clear storyteller's voice which is still as alive, fresh and direct as it was when first spoken.
This edition has been edited by the artist, teacher and author, Reg Down, with grade 4 to 8 students in mind. In addition to editing for clarity and pronounceability (Celtic spellings are sometimes impossible!), he refreshed the original illustrations by Dugard Stewart Walker, inserted footnotes where a word was uncommon or seldom used, added a map to show where countries and mountains mentioned in the book are located, added a section with characterizations and drawings of all the birds which appear in the book, included the Celtic Ogham alphabet referenced in one tale (plus examples for the reader to deciher and encouragement for them to write their own Ogham), and finally, added a brief biography of Padraic Colum, with a description of his dramatic life and times in Ireland and his arrival in the land of hope, America.
Outstanding! Highly recommend for ages 9 and older.
Milon and the Lion
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I don't know how it came about, but I first encountered this story of an Athenian slave's kindness to a lion and how that lion later saved his life when I was about 10 years old. My guess is that it was either told to me in Sunday School, or was in a book I read to myself. In any event, it has lived in my heart all these years as a beautiful reminder of the nature of goodness and the bond between man and animal.
Needless to say, I am grateful toJakob Streit for retelling it and to Floris Books for making it available in English so that we can share it with today's children.
Young slave Milon starts his journey at home in Athens. When he sets sail on a ship bound for Italy his adventures really begin. He narrowly escapes with his life in Pompei as the great volcano Vesuvius erupts and destroys the town; he experiences the colourful life of the metropolis of Alexandria in Egypt, and he faces a battle fo rlife and death in the Colosseum in Rome.
When he meets a small community of Christians in Rome, he finally gains his freedom and finds a purpose in life. At the center of the story is Milon's relationship with a wounded lion who he bravely helps. Will the lion remember him and return the favor when Milon faces death at the hands of the mighty Roman emperor?
Because this story presents the world of the early Christians in an engaging way for children, it is ideal for use in Steiner-Waldorf Class 6 (ages 11-12).
Song of the Seven Herbs
Walking Night Bear & Stan Padilla
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You and your children can enter into a beautiful story of how it came to be that the Creator of All Good Things gave healing herbs to the people of the Earth. It all began when the Creator of All Bad things brought disharmony, and thereby illness, to the world. Seeing this, the Creator of All Good things made a special plants to cure the illnesses that were brought to the world.
What follows are the stories of seven herbs that encompass various forms of disharmony and their healing solutions. You and your children will learn how the plants grow, why the Creator of All Good Things gave them particular healing powers, and how it is that the people use them. Couched within this myth that resonates with the Greek myth of Pandora's Box story, Genesis 1:12 from the Judeo-Christian tradition, and many other world creations stories, is one of the finest presentations of botanical natural history and herbal wisdom that I have come upon. Any child who is treated to this book will learn things of value for the entirety of their lives, and in ways that will not soon be forgotten.
Song of the Seven Herbs is just right for the Waldorf 5th grade botany block. Covered are the following herbs: Stinging Nettle, Yarrow, Dandelion, Violet, Chicory, Wild Rose, Sunflower. This book is a joy - one to share and return to as often as you need a reminder of the ways of goodness in the world of ours.
Highly recommended for children and adults over age 10.
Illustrated in luminous paintings by the author
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When the time is right all things are
released from their hidden places
and brought to the light of day.
A native boy on is led on a spirit journey by a sacred feather that takes him through all the realms of the spirit world and the human heart. Told in truly beautiful poetry/prose and illustrated with remarkable paintings filled with beauty and wisdom, I can see Waldorf 4th and 5th graders wrapping themselves in this story, and older children and adults loving the simplicity of the wisdom it conveys.
A quick note about the author: Viento Stan-Padilla was associated for many years with Live Oak Waldorf School in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. There is a universal wisdom that embodies his stories and paintings, and a clear love of all creation.
My Alsace is one of the most beautiful children's histories ever written. Would that all history texts children encounter were this richly illustrated and written with as much heart. My own training is in History; I very highly recommend this book.
Here's the background story:
Alsace is a region in the east of today’s France that has changed hands four times between France and Germany during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. When Hansi (born Jean-Jacques Waltz) was born in 1873, it had been two years since the Prussian army marched into Alsace, and the province remained under German annexation until the end of World War I.
Hansi recalled his years at the German school in Colmar as among the worst of his life. Above all, he hated the history lessons, in which the teacher forced the French students to learn about Prussian conquests and the defeat and humiliation of French Alsace.
In 1912, Hansi decided to write his own history of Alsace for children. He wanted to show them how much pride they could have in their past and to hear the story from their own side. His history portrays Alsace from the time when the Celts ruled the land through Middle Ages, the Age of Revolution and the German occupation through World War I. It is notable that Alsace is the birthplace/home of St. Odile, a saint often studied in Waldorf Education. My Alsace offers a beautiful, concise portrait of Alsace at the time of St. Odile.
The first edition was published in Paris with great success. However, because of its satirical gibes at all things German, Hansi was given a heavy fine and a warning from the German authorities in Colmar. Soon after, he was sentenced to a year in prison for “insulting the German officer corps.”
The present book is a hand-picked selection of L’Histoire d’Alsace and L’Alsace Heureuse by Hansi. It is full of his trademark colorful and detailed pictures of Alsatian life, as well as his critical and humorous portrayals of the occupying Germans.
There is a little village deep in the countryside of Alsace in France.... To find it, get off the train at a small station decorated with flowers, and walk down a narrow road between some orchards. In the distance, you’ll see the church spire rising above the wheat fields ...
This is not a made-up village—it really exists. It was the village where Jean-Jacques Waltz, known through his books and drawings as “Hansi,” lived, and he loved the place more than any other on Earth. When he wrote My Village, Alsace was occupied by Germany following the Franco-Prussian War, and Hansi used his skills as an illustrator to poke gentle fun at the German authorities.
The beautiful, colorful, and meticulous pictures in this book show Alsatian adults and children in their traditional dress, going about their traditional lives in harmony with their surroundings. They are patriotic, kind, and always smiling, despite their difficult circumstances, and they honor the values handed down through the generations. In contrast, Hansi portrays the Germans as brash and self-indulgent, imposing petty laws on the villagers and trying to impose German culture. Hansi’s satire, however, is always humorous, and the book is a joy throughout. Sharp-eyed readers will enjoy spotting the subtle references in his illustrations. The text is suitable for children from about eight years old, but adults will appreciate it, as well.
Ages 8 to adult
Native American Tales and Legends
Edited by Allan A Macfarlan
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This exciting collection contains more than thirty richly imaginative stories from a wide variety o f Native American sources covering a broad spectrum of subjects. Included are creation myths, hero tales and trickster stories, as well as tales of little people, giants, and monsters, and of magic, enchantment, sorcery, and the spirit world.
Among the stories included are "The White Stone Canoe" (Chippawa), "Raven Pretends to Build a Canoe (Tsimshian), "The Theft from the Sun" (Blackfoot), "The Loon's Necklace" (Iroquois), "The Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting" (Cherokee), "The Coyote" (Pueblo), and "The Origin of the Buffalo and of Corn" (Cheyenne).
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Black Beauty is one of the most beloved and celebrated animal stories every written, a suspenseful and deeply moving account of a harse's experiences at the hands of many owners - some sensitive riders who treated him gently; others cruel drives who thoughtlessly invlicted lasting damage.
Written as the animal's autobiography and as an appeal for the humane treatment of horses, Anna Sewell's well-loved classic reveals as much about human conduct and the social ills of the 19th century as it does about the treatment of animals. Scenes from the lives of both the landed gentry and the impoverished working class offer a subtle but well-rounded perspective of social conditions in England at that time.
I recommend it for ages 9 and older.
The Boy Apprenticed to an Enchanter
Illustrated by Patrick Reinhart
Wonderful as a 6th Grade Reader - a beautiful read-to for earlier years
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Padraic Colum was one of the greatest English language storytellers ever to have lived. In general, his work was focused on retelling the classic tales of Western history, shaping them with vivid language and a lilting cadence such that you could almost hear his Irish voice ringing forth from the pages. Sometimes, however, he burst into a tale of his own (see, The King of Ireland's Son, for instance) and took us into new worlds with a feeling for both story and language that is rare and unique. I just love his work.
The Boy Apprenticed to an Enchanter is one of Colum's own creations - and it is a rich and masterful treasure. It languished in the hazy realms of out of print books for years and years, almost entirely forgotten save by a few whose tattered copies were still passed from hand to hand. Now, one of my favorite publishers, Whole Spirit Press, has brought it to life again. Hooray! It is a perfect 6th grade reader and a wonderful read-to for earlier years.
The story unfolds during the Middle Ages and is filled with mystery, intrigue and adventure. There are battles against evil in several forms, and a long journey to find the truth and Merlin the Magician (who knows all the answers). Revelation and adventure abound and include Eean arriving at the Tower of Babylon and meeting Chiron the Centaur and Hermes Trismegistus.
This is fabulous, wonderful reading that will fire the imaginations f children and adults. How lovely to see it in print again.
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This story was a family favorite when our children were young - we all still love it, and for good reason. It is a quintessential tale of the transformation that is possible when goodness and good cheer enter the lives of those who have lost those qualities. Heidi herself is like a ray of sunshine, beaming with such an even light that she herself seems unaware of the negativity in the people around her.
Once she comes to live with her hermit-like grandfather, she opens the heart of everyone she meets. She transforms the lives of Peter, a goatherd; Peter’s blind grandmother; Clara, a well-to-do but sickly girl; and even the old Alm-Uncle, Heidi’s surly grandfather. A delightful story "for children and those who love children."
The ending is a beautiful picture of wholeness restored - just exactly what all of us need to be reminded of, just what our children need to know is possible. A very beautiful book, one that will go on living in your heart.
Louisa May Alcott
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Little Women is another of our family favorites - everyone loved this book, including our robust boy. There were several years in a row where at least once we would read it again - always with pleasure, as though meeting an old friend.
Largely based on the author's own childhood, it is a timeless tale of the four young March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy - who grow to maturity in their mother's tender but strong and loving care (father was a physician serving in the Civil War).
Literary-minded tomboy Jo develops a fast friendship with the boy next door, and pretty Meg, the eldest, finds romance; frail and affectionate Beth fills the house with music, and little Amy, the youngest, seeks beauty with all the longing of an artist's soul. Although poor in material wealth, the family is rich in love, friendship and imagination. No wonder they have captured the hearts of readers for many generations.
Grade 5 and up.
Little House Books
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Illustrated by Garth Williams
Softbound,full-color illustration, first 5 volumes, boxed set
$53.55Add a review
When our children were growing up, we read these books together so many times that the pages almost wore out from handling. There is so much about Laura Ingalls Wilder's recreation of her childhood (and that of her husband) that is just exactly right for our very modern children. Her portrait of the warmth her family shared with each other, even in the midst of what to my experience would be extreme hardship, is something that simply feeds our children what they are hungry for (and feeds their parents, as well, I might add). These stories also bring into view how it is possible to grow up stable and strong despise ever-changing homes, places, and circumstances. I don't know many children today who haven't had similar experiences of moving from place to place, and observed with my own children that they found both comfort and strength in knowing that other children before them had also moved rather frequently.
Then, of course, there is the fact that these stories are among the very best depictions of pioneer and farming life available. The life on a prosperous farm tended by an industrious family is described so well that most Waldorf Schools include Farmer Boy as part of the third grade farming block. The rest of the books give such vivid and accurate portrayals of pioneer life on the prairies that historians still reference them as outstanding descriptions of daily life during the mid-1800s.
And did I mention that children love them? They do. A lot.
These books are ideal as read-to's from age 4 upward. Many third graders will be able to read them on their own.
A Farmer's Alphabet
Softbound, large format
$15.95Add a review
When I saw A Farmer's Alphabet, I knew it was a perfect addition to the 3rd Grade Farming/House Building block in the Waldorf curriculum. The feel of these images is so authentic (I grew up on a farm, so I can attest to this), so warm and alive, that having this book available can enrich the student's experience enormously. Many 3rd Grades use Laura Ingles Wilder's Farmer Boy as their focus -- A Farmer's Alphabet practically illustrates the story: a New England farm with work still being done with simple tools.
A bonus is that the alphabet also shows both upper and lower case printed letters that in 3rd grade, when students are reading from printed books as well as writing their own main lesson books, becomes a lovely visual reinforcement.
The Ballad of Lucy Whipple
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The author of those great Medieval tales, Catherine, Called Birdie and The Midwife's Apprentice has created another great story - this time set in California during the Gold Rush. California doesn't suit Lucy Whipple - not the name, not the place. But moving out West to Lucky Diggins, California, was her mama's dream-come-true. And now her brother, Butte, and sisters Prairie and Sierra, seem to be Westerners at heart, too. For Lucy, Lucky Diggins is hardly a town at all - just a bunch of ramshackle tents and tobacco-spitting miners. Even the gold her mama claimed was just lying around in the fields isn't panning out. Worst of all, there's no lending library! Lucy vows to be plain miserable until she can hightail it back East where she belongs. But Lucy California Morning Whipple may be in for a surprise - home is a lot closer than she thinks. Ages 8 - 12.
Minn of the Mississippi
Holling Clancy Holling
A Newbery Honor Book
Beautiful and detailed color and black & white illustrations
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Another favorite book from my own childhood, Minn of the Mississippi is a great story, a wonderful natural history of the Mississippi River, and an outstanding geography/history lesson all rolled into one.
Minn is a snapping turtle who begins life as an egg laid at the source of the Mighty Mississippi. [I still remember my amazement when I learned while reading Minn at around age 9 that the Mississippi River also begins as something so small a child can stand astride it. The only part of the Mississippi I had ever seen was under the bridge we crossed every year to get to my grandmother's house in southern Iowa -- I had assumed the river was always about half a mile wide.]
One thing leads to another, and over the course of many, many years, Minn makes his way down the full length of the Mississippi, at last making his home among barnacle encrusted treasures left on the Gulf bottom by pirates and adventurers of long ago. Minn's travels bring him into contact with most of the wildlife that makes its home in and near the river, many of the people, and evidence many peoples gone long before.
I just love Minn of the Mississippi and the story that is told here. One of the remarkable things that H. C. Hollings does here and elsewhere is to create a story where the animal at the center of the action remains an animal (i.e., no talking, thinking or anthropomorphic behavior), yet evokes in the reader a great sympathy and involvement. And he does this while teaching a huge amount about nature, geography and history! It doesn't get better than this.
Holling Clancy Holling
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The stories of Holling Clancy Hollings rest as some of my childhood favorites - I still remember the thrill of getting to check them out of the library (again and again!) and my rapt absorbtion in the stories of creatures and things that were such great adventurers. As the captivating page turners rolled out their tales, I learned so very much about the aspect of the natural world in which the story took place. Hollings stories are a rarity in that they are great books and while also being great learning tools.
Pagoo is an intricate study of the teeming life of tide pools, told through the adventures and misadventures of Pagoo, a hermit crab.
Holling Clancy Holling
A Caldecott Honor Book
Captivating illustrations in color and black & white
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An Indian boy living along the shores of Lake Superior carves a small canoe with a "Paddle Person" in it. He names it "Paddle-to-the-Sea" and sets it on its journey from Lake Superior all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. As Paddle-to-the-Sea travels, we journey with him through all the Great Lakes, meeting boats and barges and seafarers along the way. Paddle even goes over Niagra Falls and through the locks on the St. Lawrence River. And after surviving all those adventures, it should come as no surpirse to learn that he eventually crosses the whole Atlantic Ocean and arrives in France!
A great book with a riveting story. I don't think the natural and social life of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway has a better chronicler than Holling.
Tree in the Trail
Holling Clancy Holling
Full color and black & white illustrations
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As with Big Tree, Tree in the Trail uses the life of a tree to portray both the passing of history and life cycles of nature. Where Big Tree uses a Redwood to survey the founding moments of Western Civilization, Tree in the Trail is about a Cottonwood and the things that happened within the tree's view over two hundred years along the Santa Fe Trail in the American Southwest. There are animals and people that bring to life the history, both natural and human, of this amazing part of the world. And through all the dramatic changes, the tree continues to stand and grow.
Like Holling's other books, this one is packed with story and teaching; with life itself.
Holling Clancy Hollings
A Newbery Honor Book
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In the days of the great square-rigged sailing ships, a seaman and his ship are saved from a collision with an iceberg by the swooping flight of a seagull off the shores of Greenland. In gratitude and for future good luck, Ezra Brown, the seaman, buys some ivory ashore and carves a beautiful ivory gull. Together they travel the seas on their whaling ship. Later, when the seaman is captain of his own ship, they sail together on the swift Clipper Ships to the South Seas and the Orient.
Seabird continues to ride the waves with Ezra's son, and then with his grandson, traveling on the fastest sailing ships, then on the steam ships that replaced them. At the end of the book, Ezra's great-grandson takes the Seabird along as he flies the skies, soaring through the air as he pilots the new airplanes around and around the world.
Another wonderful book by Hollings.
Indian Why Stories
Frank B Linderman
Illustrated by Charles M Russell
$5.95Add a review
I can hardly believe that I'm only now discovering this gem of a book! How is it that I've not known about it all these years? The stories, collected by a devotee of Native American lore and originally published in 1915 are warm, evocative, rich and deep, and, well, just plain wonderful. In the context of Waldorf (or any!) education, there are some which could be used alongside Aesop as another sort of fable. Others, will fit in more easily when it is time to discover our native history and geography in 4th grade. The entire book is so alive with wisdom and an intimate knowledge of nature and its ways that anyone who reads it (or has it read to them) will keep these stories in their heart.
Here's some of the stories you'll find inside:
- How the Ducks Got Their Fine Feathers
- How the Otter Skin Became Great Medicine
- Why the Kingfisher Always Wears a War-Bonnet
- How the Man found His Mate
- Why the Chipmunk's Back Is Striped
- The Moon and the Great Snake
And many, many more, each as inviting as the next. This book is a find!
The Boy with the Bronze Axe
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A riveting story of Stone Age life in the village of Skara Brae on Orkney! Kathleen Fidler not only keeps us engaged and eager for more, she has also managed to meticulously reconstruct daily life, rituals, even the landscape of this ancient world -- all the while posing a question that is a modern as it is perenniel: What does one do when strangers arrive with new and potentially threatening technology?
It all begins when Kali and Brockan are out on the rocks, chipping limpets off with their stone axes. While they are busily engaged, they lose track of both time and the tides and suddenly realize that the rock they are on is surrounded by water and will soon be submerged under the rising sea. Just as suddenly, a strange boy appears in a strange boat -- and carrying a sharp ax made of something never seen before. In rescuing the children, he brings conflict to the village as the residents of Skara must decide what to do with the new boy, his new ideas, his unheard of practices, and, especially, his bronze ax.
Wonderful story for children over 9.
The Story of Rolf
A Viking Adventure
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Rolf, a young and determined Viking bowman, faces many dangers after he vows to pursue and bring to justice the men responsible for his father's death. Set in ancient Iceland, Allen French's suspense-filled novel pits Christian fighters against pagan warriors during the early years of Christianity.
Ages 9 and older.
Gilgamesh - Man's First Story
Softbound - elegantly illustrated
$19.95Add a review
This is a powerful - and powerfully beautiful - retelling of one of the oldest stories known to humanity. Bernarda Bryson tells this story with simplicity and grace - retaining as she does the uniquely Sumerian view of the world, some of the poetic responses, and above all, the heart and soul of this story that combines in equal measure the elements of both transcendent victory and deep tragedy. This retelling was written for children, but I can't think of any adult who wouldn't enjoy it as well. Ms. Bryson is rightly remembered as an author whose sensitivity was matched by her literary skill - and who used the fullness of her capacities in the making of this book.
The story of Gilgamesh was first written down about 3000 BC in Sumeria. It tells of a great flood and of one man, befriended by the gods, who survived by building an ark. In the feats of Gilgamesh and his companion, Enkidu, a monster who turns into a gentle man who loves and respects the King, are found the sources of great mythological heroes: Hercules, Jason and Theseus.
In addition to its vital importance in the history of literature, Gilgamesh is an exciting and often amusing tale - setting jealous god against jealous god, god against man, and man against man in remarkable battles of wit and strength.
A must for fifth graders - wonderful for the rest of us!
The Woman Who Outshone the Sun
La mujer que brillaba aún más que el sol
A duel language book
From a poem by Alejandro Cruz Martinez
$9.95Add a review
The Woman Who Outshone the Sun is a Mexican legend of Lucia Zenteno, a beautiful woman who arrives in a mountain village with an iguana at her side and hair so glorious it outshines the sun. How the villagers react to her extraordinary presence - and how she responds to them - form this story, beautifully retold in both English and Spanish. For reading to children in their mother tongue, ages 4-5 and up. For children to practice English or Spanish as a second language, at the end of the first year of instruction to the middle of the second year.